Defense Secretary Urges Congress To Delay Vote On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Because a Defense Department review of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is not scheduled to be finished until December, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates recommends congress wait until the end of the year before voting to overturn a law barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military, NPR's Tom Bowman reports.

In a statement, Gates said that he can accept the language in proposed amendments to overturn the 1993 law, but he continues to believe that ideally the Pentagon's review should be finished before congress any legislative action.

Under a compromise effort, lawmakers would vote to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, but the Pentagon policy would remain in effect until the Defense Department can ensure repeal would not harm military readiness or unit cohesion.

Votes on the House floor, and in a Senate committee, are expected later in the week. According to Bowman, it's uncertain whether or not proponents of overturning the law have enough support.



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